A Shocking Day Leads To Huge Future Questions For New York Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/25/2012 08:46:00 AM |

A huge day of incredible news on countless levels that now begins what is now a three year status as a team leaving the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the only home the New York Islanders have ever know.

It happened with zero advanced notice from a media completely blindsided. A lease Wang closed at 7am. Almost as shocking the name Michael Picker appeared in no article or statement on Tuesday. (Art McCarthy was mentioned) 

For many at best it's a time of mixed emotions.  The Ranger/Dolan media people took their obligatory shots, ignoring the age of the Garden, and it's tax exemptions/empty seats/viability, that's old news. Most had enough problems contradicting the distance between facilities.

Now those outlets are out of excuses not to spend money covering the team full time beyond their own viability/relevance/credibility issues.
Charles Wang's Legacy:
Charles Wang reportedly signed a 25 year, Iron-Clad, No Opt Out Lease. The days of talking about this team leaving New York are over, the teams future is secure. Wang's legacy when he finally sells along with his efforts since day one in 2000 to keep this team here at his own expense is one of doing everything he could.

Wang was consistent with his words back to 2002-03 with Bruce Ratner when it was possible the Nets could return to the Coliseum.

No. Wang could not/should not paid for everything when no one did.. He tried every plan possible and ran around last summer at 7am going on television trying to pass a referendum no other local team had to endure as they got quietly paid in backrooms after years of trying to get the Lighthouse passed at his own expense.

The biggest news of the referendum was forty three percent were willing to spend money they likely did not have because they understood this franchise history/Wang's efforts were worth the YES vote which never would have been passed by NIFA/legislature anyway.

Wang's failure was marketing a team that was New York overplaying the Long Island card which was written about often here.  He discussed his season ticket base again (same as 2011 WFAN) with how many are from inside the city limits. 
Did Things Play Out As New York Islander Fan Central Projected In Many Entries?
No. Having written this three years is a long time, and if history has taught us anything it's the people on the stage at the press conferences come/go which will happen at Barclay's as soon as AIG completes it's sale.

Three years is a long time for Charles Wang at age 68, but a binding lease is simply that for his eventual successor.

New York Islander Fan Central for a long time has maintained Wang had every single economic reason to keep the team at the Coliseum, that if the club were moved to Brooklyn it would not be with him as it's owner.

As of 2015-16 the 450,000 hockey customers and NHL teams staying at his hotel will no longer be frequenting that area.  How did Brooklyn compensate him for that?

As of 10/24 Wang said he will retain sole ownership as a tenant in someone else's facility, does that make economic sense losing 42 NHL games (at least) away from a hotel/abatement he made clear he maintains interest in yesterday?

We do not know the answer to this, however it seems unlikely on the surface Wang makes any additional revenue with this move, he could make less. 

It all depends on what he was given to relocate as compensation if anything.
Dolan/Msg Cable Contract Buyout Factor?  
The silence was deafening no live coverage, no announcers sent beyond Stan Fischler. Guess there was no time for Dolan to welcome the Islanders to Brooklyn.

To be fair Dolan made clear last week there are enough events to go around in Brooklyn and Msg is booked solid.

Ultimately this may not have been the time for Dolan to cut Wang a huge cable contract buyout check with what he's paying to renovate Msg unless he plans to buy AIG interest in Barclay's.

The Move Helps The Team Spend More?  
It all depends what's in the lease. The numbers do not add considering how many teams with full control of revenue in tax payer facilities getting paid lose money. Wang's a tenant in Brooklyn.

There is nothing reported Wang opted out of his Dec 2009 sublease. The signs are there that he did with Smg bringing in a booking GM (2012 entry) which counters those terms where Wang managed facility. 

All we know is Islanders prospects were housed at his hotel, and avoided the Coliseum since the draft party.
Moving Before 2015? Depends On Nassau/Wang/Sublease
Wang did not dismiss it, but maintained he has a binding lease. 

If Wang opted out of his Dec 2009 sublease he can move immediately only if Nassau County approves. In that event Wang would have to pay back full terms of his lease or roughly three million a year through 2015.

If a developer comes along with a plan to build now, it makes financial sense for Nassau to let Wang out of his hockey lease sooner, will Mangano's new master developer list expand or be quickly announced? 

That comes down to Ed Mangano/Nassau or his possible successor after the 2013 election.
Anyone who says Charles Wang bought the Isles for real estate officially were proven incorrect, he maintains interest at the Coliseum site anyway, and will work for his destination at the HUB, but without the New York Islanders at his hotel with other developers.

The politicians who let this teams fans down for decades put on their usual sad show of apathy, indifference or flat out incompetence. That's where the full blame goes, our alumni should be furious at them who should have been making plans starting in 1990.

Kate Murray/D'Amato, Mondello, Jacobs (Jay/Judy) and countless others, you played political football and lost for the final time. 

Mangano took his out with the referendum, playing his will of the people card instead of finding a way to close the doors, and do the financing everyone else did without a referendum. 

He failed. Ed Mangano's deserves blame pulling the Lighthouse day one of his term from the county website. Every other municipality found a way without making it a public vote with  other cities lining up to give public funding for rich corporations. 

Wonder what would have happened with Yankees-Mets-Devils-Msg if the public had to vote via referendum to give them taxpayer money as Bloomberg closed firehouses/cut police?

Exactly. Forty three percent to me was a victory, even in August.
Hofstra's Staurt Rabinowitz:
He sure seemed broken up.....NOT.  
Edmonton Is Staying, Wang Has A Year More Than Katz On Lease?
Mr Katz got a taxpayer funded arena down town and it's apparently still not enough. What's happening here is what happened in Washington, New Jersey, Detroit and many teams who moved to a more populated area with transportation.

Things happen in trends suburban has gone urban in most cases. 
Nassau Coliseum Future?
It all depends on how much control a Master Developer has vs how much political football can be played. It could be leveled by a developer building quickly or left open for events. Nassau after 2015 has to find someone to manage it if it remains.

Someone pays to keep it open or to clear the land. 

In other words enter Cablevision in the business of renovating old facilities as entertainment venues .LA Forum.
Bottom Line: 
The New York Islanders, history, name/logo remain which for me was everything.

This blog more than most have defended the club as a New York franchise, same as the Yankees with a championship tradition that is second to none in this town. (or New Jersey)

The New York Islanders have a current home in New York, they have a future home in New York.

Not my place to speak for alumni, it's still their team/tradition/history. 

The Dynasty should have gotten the Canyon Of Hero's from 1980-1983, they should have gotten the home outdoor game at Yankee Stadium.

New York City is officially New York Islander Country in an over-saturated market.

Nassau County remains New York Islander Country.